Pride Month celebrations planned in Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton


NEW BEDFORD — June is a month of celebration, unity and empowerment within the LGBTQ+ community on the South Coast.

The South Coast LGBTQ+ Network has announced plans for Pride Month 2024, including several outdoor events in New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton aimed at bringing the community together and showing support for LGBTQ+ rights.

“There is still an issue in this country with LGBTQ+ rights, especially transgender rights,” said Andrew Pollack, president of the South Coast LGBTQ+ Network.

“We now also see it happening with the right to abortion. But we must remain hopeful and keep fighting.”

With 500 to 700 bills introduced in statehouses across the country that aim to limit the rights of LGBTQ+ people, especially in the South and West, Pollack says this state, while it may not directly affect Massachusetts, see ripple effects.

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According to USAToday, the United States doesn’t even make a list of safest countries for LGBTQ+ rights with a “state of emergency” warning issued in June 2023 by the Human Rights Campaign for LGBTQ Americans.

These ongoing challenges and threats remind us of the importance of Pride Month.

“We think we are making progress, and in some areas we are. But we must also be aware of the threats that still exist,” Pollack added.

Pride Month kicks off in Fall River in Eagle

The network is kicking off Pride Month with an event at the Eagle Event Center in downtown Fall River on May 31. The organization chose Fall River to kick off Pride this year as it begins efforts to provide more resources and reach there than necessary. has in New Bedford and Taunton.

“Our goal is to expand into places where we have less of a presence, and Fall River is at the top of our list to increase our activity and also attract the New Bedford community to these places,” Pollack said.

Hosted by fantastic drag artist Crystal Diamonds, and featuring music from DJ Tara, the evening will serve as a fundraiser for the South Coast LGBTQ+ Network.

New Bedford Pride at Buttonwood Park

On June 1, the first major outdoor event will be South Coast Pride in New Bedford at Buttonwood Park. It starts at 10 a.m. with a Pride yoga session by Sangha with Marisol Rosa. The event offers a variety of entertainment, activities and food options for all ages, with special areas for LGBTQ+ youth and seniors.

Organized by Crystal Diamonds, the festival features performances from local artists, including a tribute to Little Lies’ Fleetwood Mac. DJ Eddie will provide the soundtrack for the day. The festivities continue into the evening with a Pride after-party at the New Bedford Harbor Hotel with music from Only Child and comedy from Amy Tee.

Fall River Pride is scheduled for June 2

The Fall River Pride Festival will take place on Sunday, June 2, at the Gates of the City on Ponta Delgada Avenue. It is the fifth annual event hosted by the city.

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Throughout the month of June, the network will offer a wide range of activities for LGBTQ+ individuals, families and allies. The events will focus on arts, culture, health and wellbeing, and support for local businesses. Some of the partnerships for these events include AHA! New Bedford, the Trescott Street Gallery in Taunton, the New Bedford Harbor Hotel, Sangha and Bobby’s Place. A full schedule of events can be found on the network’s website.

Other pride events you can attend on the South Coast

On June 8, Taunton will host its third annual Pride Festival at Hopewell Park from noon to 5 p.m. Hosted by Crystal Diamonds and DJ Eddie, the event features live music, drag performances, dancers, food trucks and local vendors and artisans. The day’s headliner is Marlena Nichole, winner of the first New Bedford Idol in 2009, and Miss New Bedford in 2012.

Fairhaven Got Pride will hold its outdoor event on Sunday, June 9, at the Unitarian Memorial Church from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature food trucks, local vendors, music, activities and entertainment for all ages.

On June 13, New Bedford will host its annual Pride block party at Custom House Square from 5 to 8 p.m.

Some of the other events taking place during Pride Month include a weekly yoga session with Donna on Tuesdays from 6pm to 7pm at 2 Knotty Walk in Taunton, a Dungeons & Dragons gaming group that meets on Wednesdays at Groundwork from 7pm to 9pm , and an arts and crafts social at 26 Bedford St. in Fall River, every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

During the month there will also be LGBTQ+ socials every Friday at 1213 Purchase St. in New Bedford from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and LGBTQ+ Yoga at Sangha from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM.

The network will also host a bowling night for seniors on Sunday, June 30, at Wonder Bowl in New Bedford.

Pride Month in June is a celebration of the solidarity of the LGBTQ+ community on the South Coast. The events planned by the South Coast LGBTQ+ Network aim to do just that, bringing together individuals, families, allies and businesses to celebrate and uplift the community.

Standard-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter:@ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.

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